The Ghosts of the Glacier


#TIA – A grim if not gruesome aspect of thawing snow in the Swiss alps: exposing all those who perished in earlier times.

Jan Theiler works at the top of a mountain in Switzerland that has been made safe for novice skiers and walking tourists, and part of his job is to make sure it remains that way.

In the middle of the summer of 2017, a tower holding a ski lift above one of the intermediate trails had drifted slightly out of position, which was neither unexpected nor uncommon because both the tower and the trail are built on a glacier, and glaciers move. It does not matter that the ice has been tamed and groomed and that snow buses haul people across it to a monolith tottering at the edge: Beneath the surface snow, the glacier is constantly in motion, flexing and flowing with such force that anything on it, or under it, or in it, is going to move, too.

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